Was Yuan Shao really that bad?

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Was Yuan Shao really that bad?

Unread postby the hidden dragon » Mon Jun 20, 2011 10:04 am

I do not think so. I would say he might not be as bad as he was protrayed or recorded.

imagine for someone who occupied 4 ZHOUs and dominated the northern plain. Of cos until he marched down south trying to destroy Cao CAo...

I would say that his men were not suited to fighting in the terrains south of the river (central plain). and when u trying to lead a large army, a small screw up will lead to bigger catastrophy.

Furthermore, they are fighting in Cao Cao's own land, food supply and logistic would be much easier for him.

If Yuan Shao din move south, Cao Cao would never dared march north to invade them.

then it would be a different story. Maybe a 4 Kingdoms.

just my 3 cents worth.
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Re: Was yuan Shao really that bad?

Unread postby Human5 » Mon Jun 20, 2011 2:01 pm

I really like Yuan Shao, but I have to admit that he was not nearly as smart as Cao Cao. Here are some reasons:

1. Yuan Shao did not know his armies abilities and weaknesses, because he marched out to unsuited territory.
2. Yuan Shao had many advisors that all wanted power. They all disagreed with each other. Yuan Shao would have been better off if he had listened to Tian Feng
3. Cao Cao can see opportunities. Yuan Shao could not. Yuan Shao could have made an all out attack that would have finished off Dong Zhou, but did not.

Cao Cao would have finished off Yuan Shao sooner or later.

If Yuan Shao was in a 4 Kingdoms, I would say that he would be the first one defeated.
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Re: Was yuan Shao really that bad?

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Mon Jun 20, 2011 4:20 pm

I would say that his men were not suited to fighting in the terrains south of the river (central plain).


Is there any evidence to back such a claim? It's not like men of the central plains invading the south, it's men of the north/centre invading men of the north/centre.

Furthermore, they are fighting in Cao Cao's own land, food supply and logistic would be much easier for him.


Cao Cao was on the verge of a supply wipeout but in terms of getting supplies from home to the front, that is true.

If Yuan Shao din move south, Cao Cao would never dared march north to invade them.


Even if that is true, which I doubt, what is Yuan Shao going to do while Cao Cao seizes Jing and grows far far stronger?

Yuan Shao wasn't that bad. He was politically poor but a man who did as much as he did was certainly not inept. Perhaps lacked a bit of drive and took too long to defeat Gongsun Zan but a capable leader and commander in his day who did very well to expand from relying on Han Fu for supplies to the biggest lord in the north. The big problem with Guan Du was his powers were on the decline which led to internal problems and luck never quite went with him
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Re: Was yuan Shao really that bad?

Unread postby the hidden dragon » Tue Jun 21, 2011 12:41 am

His 3 sons were also one of the cause that led to internal fightings. His 3 sons were all having big armies if all united, would really mean bad news for Cao CAo.

I think Yuan Shao's army should be at least 3 times more than Cao Cao that time when they were at guan du.

and not to forget still got large numbers at the northern rear as reserves.

anyone got the exact figures of how much were their military strength at that time?
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Re: Was Yuan Shao really that bad?

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Tue Jun 21, 2011 10:45 am

There is only so much Yuan Shao can put in the field at any one time, the maximum I believe there was at the time was Cao Cao's 250,000 at Chi Bi. Yuan Tan was with Yuan Shao at Guan Du so presumably the army Tan had used was part of the main army but whatever numbers Shao had, it doesn't seem to have much more then Cao Cao's
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Re: Was Yuan Shao really that bad?

Unread postby the hidden dragon » Wed Jun 22, 2011 2:44 am

Dong Zhou wrote:There is only so much Yuan Shao can put in the field at any one time, the maximum I believe there was at the time was Cao Cao's 250,000 at Chi Bi. Yuan Tan was with Yuan Shao at Guan Du so presumably the army Tan had used was part of the main army but whatever numbers Shao had, it doesn't seem to have much more then Cao Cao's


in the novel, it was depicted that yuan shao had so much more than cao cao... so i guess novel cannot be trusted.
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Re: Was Yuan Shao really that bad?

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Wed Jun 22, 2011 5:27 am

The SGZ to be fair also says Yuan Shao greatly outnumbered Cao Cao only to contradict itself by the way it describes the battle.
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Re: Was Yuan Shao really that bad?

Unread postby the hidden dragon » Wed Jun 22, 2011 7:05 am

Dong Zhou wrote:The SGZ to be fair also says Yuan Shao greatly outnumbered Cao Cao only to contradict itself by the way it describes the battle.


To be more logical, the ZHOUs or the territories that cao cao had, Chang An, Luo Yang, Chen Liu, Pu Yang, Xu Chang and Wan Cheng areas ..and even Xu Zhou area might be more populated as compared to the more northern area where Yuan Shao's based (correct me if i am wrong). And resources should be more in abundance. so realistically speaking, maybe this should also means easier and faster for Cao Cao to recruite and gathers an army. Therefore, u could be right that Cao cao army indeed could be more than Yuan.

And not to forget the Yellow turban surrendered crops of armies to Cao Cao. That was quite a sustantial numbers too.

So, even though Yuan Shao held 4 Zhou at the north, but that does not means he can gathers more peasant and people to form the armies, cos his area might be more vastly spread out.

Just my own opinion.
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Re: Was Yuan Shao really that bad?

Unread postby mrbeate » Wed Jun 22, 2011 4:12 pm

the hidden dragon wrote:To be more logical, the ZHOUs or the territories that cao cao had, Chang An, Luo Yang, Chen Liu, Pu Yang, Xu Chang and Wan Cheng areas ..and even Xu Zhou area might be more populated as compared to the more northern area where Yuan Shao's based (correct me if i am wrong). And resources should be more in abundance. so realistically speaking, maybe this should also means easier and faster for Cao Cao to recruite and gathers an army. Therefore, u could be right that Cao cao army indeed could be more than Yuan.


Zhou is kind of an ending added to provinces. Such as Yangzhou, Bingzhou, Yuzhou etc..

Cao Cao at the time controlled 3 provinces, Silizhou, Yanzhou, and Yuzhou. Yuan Shao controlled Jizhou, Qingzhou, Bingzhou, and most of Youzhou.

I'd say Yuan Shao had a larger land mass with equal or slightly bit less population compared to Cao Cao. Cao Cao had less land, but denser population. Yuan Shao had the advantage of having more food resources due to having more land, and more usable land for farming and such. Cao Cao had less food sources, and just came out of wars/battles, his resources were low. Yuan Shao however conquered Gongsun Zan for awhile, and accumulated enough to be abundant.
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Re: Was Yuan Shao really that bad?

Unread postby the hidden dragon » Thu Jun 23, 2011 2:16 am

so the possible cause of yuan shao's failed campaign @ guan du could be sheer losing out in numbers. and maybe also due to supplies being sabotaged. The other things like in-fightings between his sons could or could not be true.

His case of moving downwards to attack cAo CAo might also be same as liu bei in Shu, to attack first before cao cao attack them, and not be sitting ducks.

just another of my opinion....
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